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October 31, 2008

Halloween Movies Thread

Just saw this at Hot Air and I figured I would copy it, minus Ed's atrocious film selections.

I'm going to try to avoid the obvious ones.. with the exception of two of my all-time favorites. I'd like to avoid them, but I can't. Have to give them their props.

The Thing. Is tension fear, per se? Not sure. One of the most well-made, tensest horror movies in history. As longtime readers may know, this is one of my favorite movies of all time. Not just horror movies, any movie.

Murder on the Orient Express. Here's the thing: I like horror movies, but they almost never actually scare me. Murder mysteries, on the other hand, do give me a high creep factor at times. Maybe it's because they don't have the distancing effect of a supernatural premise: They're just about human beings, who can, and frequently do, kill other human beings.

There's something about this one in particular -- the creepy score, the hazy flashbacks, the awful circumstances of the murder-before-the-murder (that is, the long-ago murder of the Lindbergh baby, here called the "Armstrong baby," which is giving me shivers just as I type this).

Great movie, a cast so full of 70s era stars it's not funny (Sean Connery, Albert Finney, Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman, on and on and on and on...). And creepy.

Couple of other murder-movies with a high creep factor: the superior and underrated Sherlock Holmes vs. Jack the Ripper film Murder by Decree (very effective creepy replay of the Ripper murders), and forgotten 70's gem The Last of Sheila.

Halloween III. Yes, Halloween III. I like Halloween, but it's very overrated, and there's no point mentioning it, is there? It's not like you don't know about it.

But Halloween III is a very interesting (if very flawed) little jaunt. Seems that John Carpenter intended to retire the Michael Myers boogeyman after Halloween II, and thought from that point on he would simply make a new Halloween movie every Halloween, but with a new story unconnected to the original.

Well, this was his first attempt, and it was so badly rejected by fans he gave up this interesting idea altogether.

But I think fans rejected it chiefly because it wasn't a Michael Myers slasher pic, which they had been expecting. Instead it's a hybrid detective-horror picture (with some light action overtones) about the fusion of black magic (druidic) and high technology.

The acting is kinda crappy, production values low, and the whole middle act is very overpadded (really, this is an hour's worth of story at best stretched to 100 minutes), but I still love this movie. I'm one of the thirty people on the planet who does. Give it a chance, maybe we can get the numbers up to 50.

And for all of those of you who are dieheard anti-Irish bigots, and wonder "Why don't they make movies about how creepy, conspiratorial, and demonically evil the Irish are?," well, buddy, do I have the movie for you.

Carrie. The treatment of Carrie by the mean girls is so awful it rises to the level of horror. Which makes that vengeance ending... um, satisfying, in a very wrong way.

Dawn of the Dead (remake). I swear by this movie, one of the best-written, best-acted, best-directed horror movies of all time. Honestly, it's not really the scariest movie; it's sort of a comedy-action movie which just happens to feature zombies. But it's outstanding.

Dementia 13. Francis Ford Coppolla's directing debut (I think), producing this nasty little flick for Roger Corman.

Is it good? Oh, it's reasonably good. But what makes this movie stand out is that it has one of the creepiest creep-music scores I've ever heard.

Oh, it's just the sort of typical deedle-deedle, deedle-deedle creepy harpsicord type stuff. But really well done. You can hear it at about the four minute mark here, as you watch the opening credits.

And Four More: Which were never actually made. The four fake-movie trailers from Grindhouse. Strong, Strong Hard-R Content Warning but very funny.

Seriously: Content Warning.

Oooohhh... Fright Night, yes! "You gotta have faith for that to work on me."

Not really scary, but pretty much the best vampire movie ever made. "The Rules" of vampires here should be industry standard.

Oh, a New One: I can't give this movie a big recommendation, but it's new, and it's free on, which is a free horror channel that many cable stations have.

Midnight Meat Train, padding Clive Barker's very brief short story into a 100+ minute film.

What's good? The acting, the writing, the fairly impressive production values.

What's bad? The gore, which is always so ludicrously over-the-top the net effect is comedy rather than horror.

And it does, yes, wear out its welcome as it pads out this very short story into a full feature.

But I liked the characters and gay shit of this nature. Bradley Cooper (the asshole rival in Wedding Crashers) gets to play the hero, Leslie Bibb his girlfriend. (Some quality side-boobage here.) Vinnie Jones plays the Big Bad.

I don't really like the oh-so-cliched ending, which is the sort of ending short stories always have, but whatev's, I put it on late night expecting to fall asleep ten minutes in and stayed up till three o'clock to finish it. That says something, I guess.

Best Horror Trailer: Dead Career Sketch mentioned Phantasm.

The movie is... meh. At best. (What is up with that puppet bee? Did they just make that up on the day of shooting?)

But the trailer... This scared the shit out of me as a kid.

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posted by Ace at 09:09 PM

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